Appeals Court Halts Execution

(September 9, 2008)--The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals late Tuesday afternoon stopped Wednesday execution of a death row inmate convicted of the murders of a former stripper and her boyfriend nearly two decades ago.

Charles Dean Hood was convicted of killing the man and woman in the Dallas suburb of Plano in 1989.

The court’s decision came as Gov. Rick Perry was weighing a request to halt the execution.

The convicted killer's attorneys asked Perry for a 30-day reprieve so they can pursue their claim that Hood's trial judge and prosecutor had an unethical romantic affair.

Meanwhile Tuesday in McKinney, Hood's lawyers questioned the retired North Texas judge who presided over his murder trial 18 years ago.

The court-ordered deposition of retired state District Judge Verla Sue Holland came a day after former District Attorney Tom O'Connell underwent similar questioning by Hood's attorneys.

Holland is a former Texas Court of Criminal Appeals judge.

Hood’s attorneys said late Tuesday both the judge and prosecutor in the capital murder trial "admitted under oath that they had an intimate sexual relationship for many years."

The statement came in a letter the legal team sent to Perry, whom they've asked for a 30-day reprieve.

Hood's attorneys say Holland confirmed the relationship in a deposition Tuesday and that O'Connell gave similar confirmation on Monday.

Hood was sentenced to die for the 1989 slaying of former stripper Tracie Lynn Wallace and her boyfriend, Ronald Williamson, at Williamson's home in Plano.

Texas Governor’s Web Site

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